- Awards ceremony moved to a new venue and King B drops hints as the host
- Awards introduce a new category and recognise newbies in the music industry
In celebrating two decades of air play as the first private commercial radio station in Botswana, Yarona FM’s music awards (YAMAS) are themed “Fabulous 20” to emphasize how extraordinary the upcoming event will be. Slated for 25 April 2020, the next edition of the country’s only music showcase is set to be more than just about music accolades, hype, fanfare, fashion and lifestyle; the event seeks to empower and facilitate growth in the local market and beyond.
“We would like this year’s YAMAS to be the biggest celebration of our music,” says Yarona FM marketing manager, Kutlwano Monnamoncho. “One of the changes we are making this year is making the event bigger by moving to a venue that can accommodate 3 000 people. For the first time ever, the awards can accommodate all of our stakeholders. I am proud to announce that this year’s Yarona FM Awards will be hosted at the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Centre.”
Monnamoncho says this year the YAMAS brand has a new packaging and surprises that will be unveiled during the awards ceremony. At the awards launch at Cigar Lounge last week, radio presenter and last year’s host, Leungo King B Pitse, hinted that he might once again host this year’s awards ceremony. “This year we will not start late and all my outfits are ready for the show,” he said.
This year, the YAMAS have introduced a new category that seeks to recognise pop music. The first featured artists under the best pop category is ATI’s Rolling Stone, Bouncy’s Peter, Dj Kuchi featuring Han C with Rejection, Frost featuring Han C with Breath and The Power of One featuring Sandi with It’s Time to get Down. One competitive category that is worth mentioning is Best Newcomer, which features the likes of Jordan Moozy, Khoisan, Ms Abey, Stretch and Wndr.
Says Monnamoncho: “A number of artists were selected as nominees in various categories and the selection of these nominees was not an easy one because the competition was tight. Our selectors were looking at various factors such as the quality of music, chart rankings, online streams and talent, to mention just a few.”
Over the years, the YAMAS have pulled all stops and played a meaningful role in the development of a vibrant and commercially viable industry. They have contributed and supported local music entrepreneurship and the industry at large by running workshops for both regional, internationally-acclaimed and local artists to interact in the ideas exchange workshops. The workshops helped expose both local and international artists on the length, breadth and strength of diversity when designing personal brand architecture, increasing fan base and having a sustainable business for growth and exposure in the music industry.
The voting lines are officially open and winners in every category will be selected through a mobile voting system. A list of nominees and their voting codes can be found on Yarona FM social media.